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Open Science Data Cloud PIRE

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OSDC PIRE Year 3 Researchers (2013)


Meet this year’s PIRE research fellows.

Ashley Zebrowski

  • PhD student at Rutgers University

  • Field: Computer Science, distributed computing and algorithms

Ashley Zebrowski is a Ph.D Candidate working with Dr. Shantenu Jha and the RADICAL group at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  Her current research interests are focused on distributed computing, especially with regards to scheduling distributed jobs and data in a flexible, scalable manner.  She is currently developing software and algorithms for the SAGA and BigJob projects and has had experience with the Cactus Framework for Numerical Relativity in the past.

Kevin Crimi

  • PhD student at the University of Southern California

  • Field: Neuroscience

Kevin is currently a PhD student and a part of the Neuroscience of Music group in the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California under Dr. Antonio Damasio where he conducts research using various imaging methodologies such as fMRI and EEG in combination with behavioral measures to probe questions dealing with the developmental, memory, and perceptual differences as a result of musical training. In addition to this research, he is also pursuing a MS in Computer Science with a specialization in Multimedia and Creative Technologies. Outside of science, he has holds a degree in Music Performance from the Thornton School of Music and is an actively performing session musician playing for various acts around LA.

Michael Lewis

  • PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Field: Computer Science, cloud computing and distributed workflows

A native of Chicago, Michael received his Masters degree in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the area of visualization. After graduation, Michael worked in the software-engineering industry, creating visualization software for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based datasets. In 2004 he was a part of a four-member team that made the CFD product ACUITIV, which was named the 2004 product of the year by Desktop Engineering. After some time in the industry, Michael decided to return to academia to work on his Ph.D. He is currently a Computer Science Ph.D. candidate at UIC under the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) and was awarded a fellowship from the Diversity of Faculty in Illinois (DFI).

Michael specializes in the area of cloud computing and distributed workflows. Some of his work includes developing a front-end imaging based software for Future Grid, a cloud computing test bed. His current research categorizes types of large-scale distributed applications that can be used in cloud systems. In addition, he is developing a framework that can produce efficient, transparent workflows that are intrinsically defined for a specific class of distributed algorithms.

Outside of research and computers, Michael enjoys playing the piano, yoga, and spending time with his wife Kheko.

Maria Patterson

  • PhD student at New Mexico State University

  • Field: Astronomy

Maria is completing her PhD in Astronomy at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Her research involves galaxy evolution and formation through studies of faint emission of gas and stars in galaxy outskirts. Maria’s dissertation work includes astronomical image processing of wide-field mosaic images of galaxies to detect faint companions and stellar stream features. She also works on building tilted-ring models of galaxy gas to study anomalous features in observations.

Maria is interested in gaining experience with big data in light of future large astronomical surveys. Her PIRE research will be focused on astronomical databasing for the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) Survey.

Pedro David Bello Maldonado

  • Graduate student at Florida International University

  • Field: Electrical Engineering

A native of Colombia, Pedro moved to the United States at the age of 21 with his family. From the early stages of his life, he has been very passionate about engineering and science. He is currently working on BS/MS degree in Electrical Engineering. Pedro has been part of different research projects in the fields of medical imaging, computer architecture, bioinformatics, and numerical analysis. Aside from his deep devotion to research and studying, Pedro plays the harp and the guitar and has a family band called Maguare. He also enjoys playing sports, biking everywhere, trick-or-treating, creating of dummies full of fireworks, and watching cartoons.

Joshua Eisenberg

  • Senior undergraduate student at Florida International University

  • Field: Computational Mathematics, Computer Engineering

Joshua is currently finishing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Florida International University. In May of 2012 he graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Mathematics and a minor in computer science. While at Brandeis, Josh began his research in the Fraden Biophysics lab creating 3-D simulations in COMSOL and he fabricated microfluidic devices. He also worked in the astrophysics research group, analyzing the energy spectra of quasars with data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Telescope.

Josh’s recent related research is his work in chessboard domination. This research is rooted in graph theory, and its results have applications in data structures and storage. Josh authored two papers on the domination of 2-D and 3-D chessboards by bishops.

Noah Duncan

  • PhD student at UCLA

  • Field: Computer Science, graphics and machine learning

Noah is a PhD student working with Professor Demetri Terzopoulos in the Graphics Lab at the University of California Los Angeles. He completed his BS in Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College last year. His research interests involve tools to accelerate and automate the process of designing functional 3D objects. These tools often rely on the application of machine learning techniques to large data sets of 3D meshes.

Joseph Korpela

  • Graduate student at UCLA

  • Field: Computer Science

Joseph is a graduate student pursuing a Masters Degree in Computer Science at the University of California Los Angeles. He completed a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science in 2010 at Hawai’i Pacific University. His recent studies include classes on data stream management systems, advanced database systems, and bioinformatics. Following his work with PIRE, he is scheduled to attend Osaka University for fall semester 2013, where he will participate in a lab research program with Osaka University’s Frontier Lab.

Eric Griffis

  • Graduate student at UCLA

  • Field: Mathematics of Computation, Computer Science, programming languages and distributed systems

Eric is currently a Masters student at UCLA, where he also completed a BS in Mathematics of Computation in 2011. Before entering higher education, Eric spent a decade in ISP systems automation, web application development, enterprise software consulting, and entrepreneurial venturing. Eric is a tool maker and inventor by nature. His research focuses on graph models, programming languages, and distributed computing systems as tools for digital information management. More generally, Eric is working to decentralize and enhance the interoperability of common social computing tasks like webmail, instant messaging, and social networking in order to improve operational costs and resilience to catastrophe for small or highly dynamic networks. In the future, Eric plans to dominate high-tech industry and establish new information production/consumption markets through orders-of-magnitude reduction in software system complexity.

Gilbert “Warren” Cole

  • Graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte

  • Field: Bioinformatics

I am currently getting my Professional Science Master’s in Bioinformatics. My undergraduate degree is in biology, and I also have a background in computer science and electrical engineering. I have owned and worked for internet development companies in the past, but I now work as a research assistant for Shannon Schlueter, Ph.D. in bioinformatics. I also have an artistic side as a musician, music producer, electric musical instrument designer, and sculptor.

Supported faculty

- Shantenu Jha, PhD

  • Assistant Professor at Rutgers University

  • Field: Cyberinfrastructure, Computational Science, Distributed Systems

Shantenu is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, a member of the Graduate Faculty in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh (UK), and a Visiting Scientist at University College London. He is also the Associate Director for Advanced Research  Cyberinfrastructure at the nascent Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute. Before moving to Rutgers, he was the lead for Cyberinfrastructure Research and Development at the CCT at Louisiana State University. His research interests lie at the triple point of Applied Computing, Cyberinfrastructure R&D and Computational Science. Shantenu is the PI of RADICAL and the lead investigator of the SAGA project, which is a community standard and is part of the official middleware/software stack of most major Production Distributed Cyberinfrastructure, such as US NSF’s XSEDE and the European Grid Infrastructure.

Shantenu has won several prestigious awards at ACM/IEEE Supercomputing and the International Supercomputing Series and is writing a book on “Abstractions for Distributed Applications and  Systems: A Computational Science Perspective”. He seeks fearless and revolutionary young minds to join the RADICAL (thinking) group! Away from work, Shantenu tries middle-distance running and biking, tends to be an economics-junky, enjoys reading and writing random musings, and tries to use his copious amounts of free time with a conscience.